University of California

United States of America

Language of instruction


The University of California is the foremost public research university in the state of California, made up of ten campuses. The UC system is located throughout California, encompassing the state’s cultural and geographic diversity.

Each campus offers attractive and distinct facilities, specialised schools, and creative and challenging learning opportunities. UC Berkley and UCLA are currently tied as the top public university in the US, and UC Berkley is ranked as the 4th best public university globally.

Semester dates

Semester system campuses:

Berkely and Merced

UQ Semester Host Semester Dates
Semester 1 Spring Semester February–May
Semester 2 Fall Semester August–December
Quarter system campuses:

Davis, Irvine, Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, Santa Barbara and Santa Cruz

UQ Semester Host Quarter Dates
Semester 1 Winter & Spring Quarters January–March & April–June
Semester 2 Fall Quarter September–December

All students who apply for exchange in UQ Semester 1 to a Quarter campus must complete both the winter and spring quarters.

View UC's academic calendar.

Guides and additional information

UC has online resources available to help get the most out of your exchange:


The University of California has 10 campuses across the state. UC exchange programs are available at:

  • UC Berkeley
  • UC Davis
  • UC Irvine
  • UC Los Angeles
  • UC Merced
  • UC Riverside
  • UC San Diego
  • UC Santa Barbara
  • UC Santa Cruz

UC San Francisco is not available for exchange.

When applying to UC, students must be prepared to attend any of UC's campuses - even if it is not one of your four nominated choices.

Exchange deadlines

May 31 for Semester 1 of the following year.

October 31 for Semester 2 of the following year.

Student testimonials

Full-time study load

Semester campuses:

  • 15–17 units at UC is equivalent to 8 UQ units.

Quarter campuses:

  • 15–17 units in UC's fall quarters is equivalent to 8 UQ units.
  • 24 units across UC's winter and spring quarters is equivalent to 8 UQ units. (12 per quarter)

UC's major courses require a more intensive study load than most UQ majors. Most UC students enrol in 15–17 units per semester or fall quarter, through a combination of major and general education courses. It is advised, when planning your course schedule, to take no more than two courses within a UC major.

Minimum academic requirements

You will need a minimum cumulative GPA of 5.5 to study at UC campuses.

It is highly recommended you have a full study load of UQ general electives is you wish to study at UC.

You must be willing to attend any of the 9 UC campuses where courses in your area of study are available.

Find courses

Search the Credit Precedent Database to find courses offered by your host university that have been previously approved for credit at UQ. The database should be used as a general guide only. 

If courses do not appear in the database, search UC's course catalogue by selecting your campus of interest and view Course enrollment.

Study areas taught in English

Business information systems
Human resources
Innovation and entrepreneurship
International business
Aerospace engineering
Biological engineering
Biomedical engineering
Chemical engineering
Civil and structural engineering
Computer engineering
Electrical engineering
Environmental engineering
Geotechnical engineering
Materials engineering
Mechanical engineering
Software engineering
Exercise science
Nutrition science
Social work
Art history
Classical languages
Communication, digital media and PR
English literature
Film, TV and media
History and ancient history
International relations
Peace and conflict studies
Political science
Public policy
Information technology
Computer science
Animal studies
Biological sciences
Biomedical science
Chemistry and biochemistry
Earth sciences
Environmental studies
Food science
Mathematics and statistics
Regional and town planning

Course restrictions

If you are nominated to apply to UC and choose to withdraw from the UQ Abroad program, you will not be eligible to apply to UC in future semesters, due to the university's high demand. 

When applying to UQ Abroad and to UC, you can nominate your top campus-choices and should complete your study plan based on your first preference. However, campus preferences are never guaranteed due to availability of courses and places. Each campus offers a variety of fields of study and applicants may be placed at any campus where their field of study is available.

A full list of restricted fields can be found on the UC Instructions for undergraduate majors webpage.

UC does not publicly release detailed course information, including syllabi. Please do not contact the university for this information. Select the UC campus where you wish to study to find course descriptions.

Specific course restrictions:

  • Law is not available for exchange students.
  • Students wishing to study upper-division courses (numbered 100-199) in Biology, Business Administration, Economics, Engineering or Psychology must meet the pre-requisites outlined for your major and all courses you wish to undertake.
  • Students wishing to study Business/Commerce at UC must have successfully completed either Maths B and Maths C in their final year of high school, MATH1040 and MATH1050 at UQ, or equivalent.

Postgraduate studies are not available to exchange students.


Additional academic information

Course numbering at UC:

  • 001-099: Undergraduate first and second year courses
  • 100-199: Undergraduate third and fourth year courses
  • 198-199: Usually thesis or research exchange student courses

UC has online resources to help navigate its academic policies and structure:


Exchange deadlines

May 31 for Semester 1 of the following year.

October 31 for Semester 2 of the following year.


UC cannot guarantee university-owned housing for exchange students. Many campuses offer special housing for international students. Check your host campus housing website for details on the accommodation options available to you.

Housing information for available campuses:

Cost of living

The cost of living varies across UC campuses, with some located in big cities and others in smaller, more rural areas. If cost is a deciding factor, recommended campuses are ones located outside the large metropolitan areas of Los Angeles and San Francisco. Proximity to the ocean is a considerable factor impacting the cost of living. The University of California provides a general outline of the estimated costs of attending for exchange students (listed under Money Matters). The estimated living expenses at each UC campus are also provided.

Additional Mandatory Fees

Each UC campus also has additional mandatory fees which are outlined on the UC Before you Arrive page (per campus under Financial Information. These fees cannot not be waived.

Students are also responsible for the shipping cost of their DS-2019 visa certificate and any other fees associated with the issue of their US visa.

Financial support

A range of funding for student exchange including scholarships, grants and loans are available to UQ students.  


Students approved to participate in the Student Exchange Program are automatically covered by UQ’s Travel Insurance for the country of their host university only.

For more information, read the Student Travel Insurance Policy Summary on UQ’s Travel Insurance web page (login required).

If you plan to travel outside of your host country, you should purchase additional insurance.

All UC students are required to have UC Student Health Insurance Plan (UCSHIP)and will be automatically enrolled in the host campus' insurance plan. Insurance coverage and costs vary by campus. The cost of insurance will be applied to your student billing account.

Exchange students may be eligible to waive the Health Insurance Plan, if the campus permits, and if they have additional cover that meets UC campus' minimum waiver requirements.

Before purchasing an additional policy, students should confirm that the policy meets the UC campus' minimum waiver requirements. Please note that the waiver of the Health Insurance Plan is not guaranteed and subject to approval from the UC campus.

Exchange deadlines

May 31 for Semester 1 of the following year.

October 31 for Semester 2 of the following year.

Organise your visa

It is your responsibility to ensure you have the correct visa for the country where you will be studying. As UQ Abroad is not a visa-issuing authority we cannot provide visa advice.

UC has visa and immigration information for exchange students.

Contact the US Embassy and Consulates for more visa information.

Travel risk levels

The University of Queensland cannot and does not allow UQ Abroad students to travel to any country with a risk level of 3 (Reconsider your need to travel) or above, as assessed by the Australian Government.

If a country's risk level changes to 3 or above, UQ Abroad programs to that country are suspended until the risk level improves.

Find out the risk level and travel advice for your host country on the Smartraveller website.

Register your travel plans

We recommend that you register your travel plans on the Smartraveller website so that the Australian Government can contact you or your family in an emergency.

Non-Australian citizens should register with their closest consulate.

Exchange deadlines

May 31 for Semester 1 of the following year.

October 31 for Semester 2 of the following year.